New LiDAR Sensor for Drones Unveiled

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A new LiDAR sensor for drones, described as a dual-use technology – enables the conduct of advanced analytics of geographic and manmade features on the earth’s surface. 

RTL-450 sensor developed by RedTail LiDAR Systems incorporates a lightweight microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) mirror and a precision navigation system to generate accurate data for the most demanding of aerial surveying missions.  

The high-resolution, three-dimensional point clouds created by the system provide operators an unsurpassed ability to conduct advanced analytics. 

Designed and assembled in the US, the sensor is designed to operate independently of a drone platform, providing great flexibility for drone integration. The modular nature of the design facilitates quick and efficient integration onto user selected platforms.  

To date, the RTL-450 has been integrated onto the FLIR SkyRaider, Freefly Alta-8, 4D-X6, DJI Matrice 300 and DJI Matrice 600.  

The system’s high-resolution point clouds – generated at a rate of up to 400,000 pulses per second and 5 returns per pulse – are well-suited to numerous military, first-responder and commercial applications, including mission planning, battle damage assessment, force protection, emergency response, remote surveillance, construction and resource management, and infrastructure development.  

What makes the RTL-450 unique is that all laser pulses are transmitted toward the ground toward the area of interest.   

The detail contained within the 3D LiDAR images makes them ideal for use with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) algorithms for the autonomous detection and classification of objects of interest with no human intervention required, according to